I am so excited to make our Row Quilt with you all! Hopefully everyone has read the “Getting Ready to Row Along” post last month and has a copy of our book “Quilting Row by Row”. If not, do those two things and than come back. We thought it would be really fun to make this together as a large group in 2018 starting in January. But you can join the Row Along anytime, even a month or so behind. Don’t stress if your behind starting or behind as we go, and while we’re at it, don’t stress about anything to do with this quilt. Quilting should be fun and a stress reducer! We are here to have a good time, no matter your level of expertise or your pace, and you will probably make many mistakes as you go (we know because we did). Some mistakes you’ll want to fix and they will be a teacher and some you will just leave alone as happy little quilty accidents. I honestly like my quilts to have some noticeable mistakes, it reminds me that I am human.
On our last post we suggested reading the “Getting Started” chapter of our book ,first. Seriously, do it. This chapter contains information that pertains to all of the rows, and you will want to refer back to it often as your making the quilt. Each month follow the directions in the book for the row we are working on. Our blog posts will point out areas in the directions that we think you should pay special attention to. We will also post some extra videos in our Facebook Group throughout the month, so make sure you request to join. Try to post any questions you have as we go to the Facebook group, we will respond daily. The group is also a great place to share your pics and make friends, we think you’ll enjoy it.
Okay, ready!? Row #1 is going to be your easiest row to make, as it is just simple squares.
The book suggests you use Fat Quarters, but you can also use your scrap or stash fabrics. I used exactly 26 fabrics as suggested, I am using our kit with a little scrap mixed in. But you could also use a few more than 26 if you want even more variety in the fabrics (just keep it an even #). If you add more fabrics, you will end up with some extra sewn pairs, hang on to them because later in the month we will be posting a Free pattern that uses this exact technique to make a whole new quilt, (and its really cute!).
Make sure you have a variety of colors and a good mix of prints and simple basics.
I suggest pairing up everything before you start stitching to make sure you really like all of your combinations. I ended up swapping a few as I went along.
Once you have stitched all pairs and than cut them into units, you will make a layout for both rows. Play around with your final layout until you really love it! In the book we suggest numbering all of these units to remember where they go, or I also like to use the camera on my phone.
As you stitch your rows together, pay careful attention that you are pressing all seams in a row, the same direction. All of Row 1 will go to the right and Row 2 to the left.
The reason we are pressing the seams opposing directions is so we can “butt” them together (refer to page 13 in “Getting Started”). By butting the seams you can feel that your squares are lined up perfectly, it decreases bulk and makes for a stronger quilt in the end.
The two opposing seams will fit together , kind of like a puzzle piece. It is something you can feel more than see. Once they are perfectly “butt”, pin in place.
TOOL TIP: We especially love the “fine” pins, as you can sew over them. You may still hit one with a needle at some point, but they will not do major damage to your sewing machine, the thinker ones might. We love either the clover “fine quilting” or “fine patchwork” the best (the difference between these 2 is that the quilting pins are long and the patchwork pins are short, I use them both, but you may prefer one length over the other). I know other brands have similar “fine” versions, any of those will work great too.
You will join the 2 rows that create Row 1 together, butting and pinning all of the seams as you go. Once you have stitched and pressed, you are finished with Row 1! Below is mine. We can’t wait to see all of yours!
Now for a Giveaway! We are giving away a sweet little set of some of our favorite notions. Actually, we have 2, so here’s two ways you can win 1. I am giving 1 away on Instagram and 1 in the Facebook Group, post your your pics, of finished rows, fabric choices, any part making Row 1 into either place or both. On Instagram use #row1giveaway and TAG me @pipersgirls, so I will get your entry. In the Facebook Group also put #row1giveaway in your post. I will not draw winners until Feb 1st, so there is plenty of time to enter.
The giveaway includes a set of Clover Fine Patchwork Pins, A Clover Awl, A spool of our favorite neutral Aurifil thread and a mini cutting mat from Cute Cuts, just because its so cute!